Sunday, October 28, 2007

EuropeCrazy's German Film Festival

OK, I'm exaggerating as usual (!) but I thought I'd do a post about two German films I've seen recently, one old, one new, and both rather excellent in their own way.

"The Lives Of Others" recently came out on DVD and I highly recommend this film, which won the Oscar for best foreign language film. It's a story of how a Stasi officer was ordered to spy on every waking moment in the lives of an East German playwright and his girlfriend, only for him to later realise the cold and miserable nature of his own life. The tension is cranked up throughout. It's a dark and intense film, yet in the end there is also hope, compassion and forgiveness. A great film, and although it's a fictional tale, it provides a remarkable glimpse into how surveillance became a way of life in East Germany.

Five years ago, another German language film, "Goodbye Lenin" was taking the world's screens by storm. Whilst Alex's mother was in a coma for six months, the world changed and the Berlin Wall came down. She then recovered but warned that any shock could kill her, Alex then sprung into action and recreated East Germany in the family's home. There are many moments of laugh-out-loud classic farce and comedy throughout, but it's also a very moving film too, as son and daughter discover the truth about their family's past. I have seen this film three times now and have always enjoyed watching it. It was also the first time that we saw Daniel Brühl, who was also very good in "The Edukators" and I think he is one of Europe's most talented young actors at the moment.

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